If you are looking for a career in the arts, the training that you get here is second to none. I can’t imagine what it would be like in regular high school musical theatre program. We do 2-3 challenging musical productions a year, in addition to a Shakespeare festival. You get so much exposure to different works and techniques that by the time you are going to college, you have the confidence to audition and succeed.”
— Jack, Musical Theatre '18

In the Musical Theatre Department, students master storytelling in three different disciplines: voice, dance, and acting.

While many graduates of The Academy attend highly regarded BFA conservatory programs in musical theatre or acting, others choose to pursue their training in academic BA programs at liberal arts colleges. 

A broad sampling of recent Musical Theatre graduates’ college placements include, but are not limited to, Northwestern, NYU, CAP 21, Carnegie Mellon, the University of Minnesota/Guthrie, Emerson, Millikin, Muhlenberg, Point Park, TCU, Boston Conservatory, Bereklee School of Music, and Ithaca.

Musical Theatre students are taught by Chicago professionals, working out in the city on their own art as they impart wisdom to students based on their own professional training and experience. In addition to the Department's permanent faculty, a rotating roster of guest artists means that the music director or choreographer of the fall show is working with Academy students in between gigs at any of Chicago’s most reputable and innovative professional theaters.

For Musical Theatre students, performance is a key part of learning, and students have ample opportunity for it. The Department produces four to five mainstage shows per year, including two musical productions, and several plays as part of the Shakespeare Festival collaboration with the Theatre Department. Outside of performances, freshman and sophomore students focus their studies on the work of Shakespeare and Thornton Wilder, while juniors concentrate on Oscar Wilde and Tennessee Williams. Seniors begin to study the work of Anton Chekhov.

Recent musical theatre productions have included A Little Night Music, Nine, City of Angels, Spring Awakening, Into the Woods, Fiorello, Urinetown, The Pirates of Penzance, The Robber Bridegroom, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Anything Goes, and Merrily We Roll Along. Our recent Shakespeare Festival titles have included The Merchant of Venice, Cymbeline, The Tempest, The Winter’s Tale, As You Like It, Romeo and Juliet, and Macbeth.


The Department also produces works to be performed out in the community. Over the last two years, Musical Theatre seniors produced and toured the Theatre for Young Audiences musical Seussical, and Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream . 

More about the Musical Theatre Department

*Course titles reflect transcripts for the 2017-2018 freshman class.